VIRGINIA

Valerie Hjort accused of child abuse at Woodbridge daycare

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A Woodbridge woman is behind bars following allegations of child abuse at a daycare center she owns.

Valerie Hjort is accused of tying a 4-year-old girl up and putting her in a closet at the home daycare, located in the 1900 block of Brooke Farm Ct in Woodbridge.

"It's really scary, but I am not what went through her head," said Hjort's neighbor Theo Adwitya said.

Police say the 56-year-old put the child in the closet with her hands bound behind her back for 10 minutes as a form of punishment.

Mhayren Manalo, also a neighbor of Hjort, added, "Tying of the hands and in the closet in 10 minutes, I mean, who who does that."

Neighbors' describe Hjort as a woman who rarely speaks or socializes.Over the years, they have grown accustomed to seeing her in her yard playing with as many as a dozen children.

Some find the allegations of abuse deeply troubling.

Cyril Charity picked up his son from a daycare just down the block from Hjort's. He finds the allegations hard to take.

Charity said, "That's quite appalling. I can't believe that. We don't have that problem with our daycare provider here...that would just drive me insane."

Other children were at the daycare at the time of the alleged abuse, but no other instances of abuse were reported.

Hjort is charged with abduction, as well as abuse and neglect of children. She is being held without bond.

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